When it comes to drug-free treatment options, many people wonder if the effect of ice for a sore throat is just a myth. Given the constantly changing weather in fall and winter, the appearance of painful symptoms is not uncommon. These usually get better on their own within a week. However, there are other factors that could be causing the pain and its duration, such as surgery, allergic reactions, the flu, or the common cold. Regardless of the cause of your sore throat, eating ice cream or sucking on ice cubes can cheer you up. But are they really effective as treatments? Here is some useful information and remedies that can in the right approach to such problems.
Table of Contents
- Is it advisable to use ice for a sore throat?
- What to eat or drink when you have a sore throat
- Try home remedies instead of ice cream for a sore throat
Is it advisable to use ice for a sore throat?
The answer to this question depends primarily on the cause of the symptoms that occur. For patients who have had throat surgery, there is evidence that ice cubes or ice cream may help to partially relieve a sore throat. Researchers have already found that ice cream can relieve some of the pain associated with tonsillectomy. Although more evidence is needed on this, enjoying a cold scoop of your favorite ice cream flavor could relieve persistent symptoms and make your throat feel better.
But what would the situation be like if you are just trying to cut down on sugar, have a dairy allergy or even don’t like ice cream at all? In such cases, what else could you eat and drink when you have a sore throat? It is common for people to wonder how to treat a sore throat and what home remedies, food, or drinks are recommended. Some of them can lead to difficulties in speaking and swallowing or improve your health condition. Below you will find some answers to these frequently asked questions.
Are hot or cold foods and drinks better for a sore throat?
According to health experts, people with sore throats should stay well hydrated, although hot drinks should be avoided. Instead, they suggest that sucking on ice cubes, popsicles, or candy could ease the symptoms of a sore throat. So the answer to the above question can be both. Depending on the cause of your sore throat, eating cold and hot foods can make your condition better or worse.
In addition, cold food and drinks have a cooling effect on the nerve endings in the throat, reducing pain signals. Likewise, eating cold food also helps reduce inflammation and swelling in your throat, which can minimize pain and discomfort. Eating cold foods can also help if you have trouble swallowing or breathing through your mouth. Meanwhile, warm drinks encourage salivation and lubricate the throat. Warm tea beverages, for example, also often contain healing ingredients like honey and lemon. For this reason, it is common to recommend tea for a sore throat. Some types of plants such as elm bark, licorice root, horehound, chamomile and turmeric are popular for their healing properties when brewed with green tea for a sore throat.
Identify the causes and use hot or ice for a sore throat
So, when deciding what to eat and drink when you have a sore throat, the most important thing is to identify the cause. The causes of a sore throat are varied and complex. Most of these are caused by viruses, although bacteria can also play a role. In some cases, however, there is no identifiable reason for this. Usually, the inflammatory process begins mildly, and the symptoms gradually get worse over several days. In addition, symptoms typically appear suddenly and worsen within 24 hours. They tend to progress slowly and disappear quickly. Some sufferers have pain in the area of the palate or behind the ears.
Sucking on ice cubes or popsicles can be soothing and hydrating. According to health experts, ice lollies can be a good treatment for a sore throat because they have a local cooling effect on inflamed tissue. Ice water can also lower the temperature of nerve endings in the throat, thereby reducing pain signals. Even after a tonsillectomy, doctors advise patients to eat ice cream. The cold ice comes into contact with the inflamed tonsils and minimizes the swelling. Here are some more effective foods, treatments, and home remedies for a sore throat that you can use at home.
What to eat or drink when you have a sore throat
If you don’t like ice cream or have a dairy or lactose intolerance, there are some other ways to treat a sore throat. In general, it is best to choose soft foods. As previously written, you need to keep yourself hydrated and also avoid anything that could further irritate your throat. If you have a sore throat, these are some of the best foods to eat:
- Oatmeal – Oats are high in fiber, which makes them a good choice for those with sore throats. Oatmeal is also low in fat and calories, making it a healthy option as well. Boil a portion of oatmeal and add some cinnamon and honey.
- Yogurt – Plain yogurt contains probiotics that can boost your immunity. You can add some vanilla extract for extra flavor.
- Chicken or Vegetable Broth – Broths are rich in nutrients and minerals, making them a great addition to meals.
- Other options include warm pasta, gelatin desserts, mashed potatoes, and cooked vegetables. These foods include kale, broccoli, and red onions, which contain an antioxidant called quercetin. The latter can help fight a cold. Although the research on this is relatively new, it may have some potential.
- Avocados are another great option when you have a sore throat. Not only are they rich in healthy fats and super soft, but they’re packed with fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
What foods to avoid if you have a sore throat?
If you have a sore throat, it is better to avoid foods such as meat, citrus fruits, spicy food, crackers, coffee and alcohol. Raw meats like beef, pork, chicken, turkey, lamb, fish, shellfish, and offal contain bacteria that can cause a sore throat. If you decide to consume such foods, you should wash them thoroughly and then cook them.
Citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, grapefruit, limes, tangerines, and grapefruit contain citric acid, which is irritating to the throat. You should also reduce the amount of citric acid in your diet by drinking water instead of soda or juice. In addition, spicy foods and foods such as hot peppers, chili peppers, curry, cayenne pepper, paprika, and horseradish can cause a burning sensation in your mouth and throat and make your sore throat worse.
Try home remedies instead of ice cream for a sore throat
You can also treat a sore throat yourself at home without having to visit a store or pharmacy. However, some options also include taking over-the-counter painkillers if your sore throat is unbearable. Taking antihistamines can also help with a sore throat caused by allergies. Taking an antacid can relieve a sore throat caused by acid reflux. Before resorting to medication, you should speak to a doctor to determine the cause. Otherwise, the following methods and remedies can help relieve symptoms.
- Gargling with salt water – Gargling with warm salt water can also help reduce inflammation in the throat. However, this method of treatment is not suitable for children. To make your own gargle, dissolve half a teaspoon of salt in a glass of lukewarm or partially cooled boiled water. Then gargle with the solution and spit out. Repeat the process a few times throughout the day or as needed.
- Inhaling Steam – Steam inhalation involves inhaling water vapor, which helps open the airways. The warm, moist air loosens mucus in the throat or nasal passages, as well as in the throat and lungs. Make sure you place the hot water jar or electric vapor inhaler on a suitable hard surface such as a table. Be careful with the process or you may risk injury from the hot water.
- Get plenty of rest – Adequate sleep is essential for a good recovery and supports the immune system. Less sleep can decrease the number of white blood cells in the body that help fight throat infection.
While home remedies can help provide relief, it’s also important to consult your doctor if you notice any new symptoms. This is especially true if you have been suffering from it for more than a week. Using ice for a sore throat will definitely not cure it, but it can certainly relieve some of the pain. So when you have this type of inflammation, it is important to take care of your body, rest, and seek appropriate medical care in addition to self-treatment.